SOUTH CHINA — The rain stayed away from Erskine Academy, but Cape Elizabeth’s offense did not.

The seventh-seeded Capers scored three goals in the first 10 minutes and rolled to a 5-1 win over No. 2 Erskine in a Class B South boys soccer quarterfinal on a raw, breezy Tuesday afternoon.

Towering senior Tiernan Lathrop scored twice and added an assist for Cape Elizabeth (10-5-1), which will meet No. 3 Gardiner in the regional semifinals. The Tigers blanked No. 6 Medomak 2-0 on Tuesday.

“We got off to a pretty decent start,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Ben Raymond, dressed in shorts despite the wet, chilly conditions. “They had a couple of chances at the very beginning, but we settled down a little bit and worked on possession and tried not to lose the ball and find some open guys.”

“It’s a tough day to play for anybody, so we focused on putting balls on target was much as possible, and it worked out well.”

In addition to battling the weather, Erskine (11-3-1) dealt with a team that simply had more experience, Eagles coach Carrie Larrabee said. Erskine plays in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, a league the coach said gave her team “a fantastic schedule in terms of competition.” However, Cape Elizabeth competes in the Western Maine Conference with soccer royalty such as Yarmouth — winner of five of the last six Class B titles — and Greely.

“We put up a good fight,” said Larrabee, whose team won its first eight games this season. “It’s really tough for us in the KVAC when we’re put in the south (bracket) competing with these kids that get opportunities to play more soccer, so their touches are faster and quicker. We’re young. A lot of our kids are not as experienced, and I think that showed (today), but they put up a great fight.”

 Cape players celebrate after a first-half goal during a Class B South soccer quarterfinal game Tuesday at China. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

After the teams engaged in an early feeling-out period, Cape struck first in the 9th minute when Eddie Caldera, stationed in the left side of the box, converted Lathrop’s feed from outside and past diving Erskine goalkeeper Timber Parlin (seven saves), his neon jersey already muddy from the pregame warmup. Lathrop made it 2-0 in the 14th minute when he recovered a scramble in front of the net and netted his second goal three minutes later. After Erskine was carded for a tackle inside the box, Cape Elizabrth’s Stewart Kelley made it 4-0 on a penalty kick in the 32nd minute, a lead the Capers took into halftime.

The Capers didn’t let up after the break, as Ben Alternberg’s header in the 45th minute made it a 5-0 game. Erskine ended Cape’s shutout bid in the 69th minute, when Malachi Lowery’s direct kick soared past Cape keeper Dimitri Coupe (three saves).

Despite the rough ending to the season, Larrabee is optimistic about the Eagles’ prospects for 2022. Erskine loses six seniors, including four starters.

“We had outstanding leadership with our seniors this year,” she said, “and I think that culture has passed on to our younger kids. We have a great group of juniors and sophomores coming up behind them.” 

Comments are not available on this story.